In these days of social distancing and staying home more than normal, it is not unusual to see people use their time for home renovation and redecorating projects. Those looking for some truly special touches for their space may find just the treasure trove they need at Ian Henderson’s Antique Mall along Highway 441 north of Milledgeville.
Owner Ian Henderson moved his successful antique mall franchise from Monroe to Milledgeville in July 2018. The store now boasts more than 100 vendors selling a variety of items to eager people seeking a deal or unique statement piece.
Henderson came into the antique business when his parents first opened an antique store in Monroe while he was living in Milledgeville and attending Georgia College. Henderson spent his days off from classes going back to Monroe to help out in his parents’ store. He eventually took over the business, growing it from 8,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet, making it the largest antique mall in the southeast.
It was a phone call from his friends that brought Henderson back to Milledgeville once again.
“The guys down here with Lake Sinclair Storage, Charles Preston and Eric Scarborough, invited me down when they bought the building … and asked me to turn the front showroom into an antique mall,” said Henderson.
Henderson rents out booths to more than 100 vendors, mostly local, who display their items in his store at 2971 N. Columbia St. Henderson sells their items at a 10 percent commission, and vendors are welcome to bring new items to their booths at any time. Henderson and his father also find inventory for the store at local estate sales.
“We specialize in vintage and antique. However, there is just some good stuff that you might find at a yard sale,” said Henderson.
Among the many items available in the store, shoppers will find furniture, home décor and accent pieces, dishware, and vintage toys, including an extensive collection of model train equipment. Also popular among shoppers is the collection of more than 700 vinyl records sold in the store.
Ian Henderson’s Antique Mall also works with a variety of vendors who specialize in custom product lines such as metal signs. Customers can special order personalized signs or choose from the many popular lake-themed signs available from the vendor. Among the most popular with lake residents are the metal egrets that serve as quirky yard ornaments.
“Those have been a really good seller,” said Henderson. “They just say, ‘Hey, this is the lake.’”
Henderson works with another vendor who specializes in transforming reclaimed wood into beautiful benches, swings and end tables. Another vendor refurbishes old pieces of furniture by repainting them in the popular shabby chic style.
“They do a phenomenal amount of business out of here,” said Henderson.
Henderson also sells rocking chairs made by a well-established furniture maker out of Tennessee. He recently received a new shipment of the popular staple item.
“I literally have 80 rocking chairs right now,” said Henderson.
A less traditional furniture item has proven to be a popular seller for Henderson as well.
“We also have a plethora of Jack Daniels barrels. They sell really well,” said Henderson, who notes that the barrels are popular choices for end tables, bars or accent pieces.
For those wanting to try their own hand at refurbishing old furniture, Henderson partners with local vendor 44 Marketplace in Eatonton to sell the popular Dixie Belle paint line in his store.
“It’s awesome paint,” said Henderson. “Anybody can paint with it. You can’t screw up using Dixie Belle.”
For Henderson, moving back to Milledgeville has been an exciting opportunity to be part of a vibrant community.
“I just know that Lake Sinclair is a booming area right now,” said Henderson. “I see a lot of new people finding out about Lake Sinclair and how wonderful it is, and they’re coming down here, and we’re helping them stock their new houses.”
Ian Henderson’s Antique Mall is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Ian Henderson’s Antique Mall
2971 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville
Facebook: Ian Henderson’s Milledgeville Antique Mall
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 12:30 to 6 p.m.